View Full Version : Little Geckos Arent A Problem! (AKA-Micro Feeder Culture)

10-08-2007, 10:07 PM
A new story entry has been added:

Little Geckos Arent A Problem! (AKA-Micro Feeder Culture)

Micro-Feeder Culture

Micro feeder culture, literally the culturing of tiny prey items, is a facet of herpetoculture that is often overlooked by many. If you look at the composition of the Family Gekkoninae for example, you see that by exclusively dealing with larger species of geckos you miss out on the majority of animals present.

In the past the aversion to dealing with small species was understandable, with higher mortality rates and greater difficulties in obtaining an adequate food supply. Not to mention the lack of general knowledge. With the advances made since the days when Leopard Geckos were on the cutting edge of Gecko enthusiasts skills and the advances made in captive technology, lighting and caging, the only real aspect left that is of any considerable trouble outside of an specific animals Natural History data, is the food supply.

In this article Ill discuss several species of feeder insect that are useful for feeding even the smallest of gecko hatchlings. Ill also present simple methods I have come up with to succesfully culture each prey item. I will not be including information on any roach species as that information is wide spread and easily obtainable. Species worth mention when dealing with small geckos and other herps are Turkestan Roaches or Red Runners (Blatta lateralis) and Green Banana roaches (Panchlorea nivea)

10-08-2007, 11:59 PM
Good read... I've always been paranoid of culturing roaches. I only do fruit flies and springtails. Crix are a bit too smelly for my taste, plus they take a lot of room. I've been doing my fruit flies for the last several years. Here (http://www.geckosunlimited.com/community/feeder-care-nutrition/26457-fruit-fly-culturing.html)'s how I do it.

10-09-2007, 12:16 AM
The more info the better, alot of species get looked over due to food issues and what works for one may not work for another. Thanks Marty! Great job on the site btw.

Ken Bartenfeld
10-09-2007, 02:53 PM
Great job, Tom.

Though, don't you have to keep the crickets humid after hatchling out for a week or so when they need to shed the first layer of skin...? I have killed off thousands due to not keeping it humid enough. Correct me if i'm wrong :?


10-09-2007, 02:59 PM
Ive had the same problem Ken (and thank you!), but it was easy to fix, I just started supplying fresh potato slices every day as opposed to every other as alot of sources Id looked at suggested. Another point Ill edit into things later, is I have always done better overfeeding them with potato as opposed to giving them "just enough".. maybe thats what helps with my humidity issues and Im just not seeing it?

Im not so sure its an ambient humidity issue as opposed to their just being enough moisture available in general. Also, Ive noticed alot of people in different areas geographically have far different results with different methods.. living in Fl. I assume youre AC is on alot, thereby making your house drier than mine on average as alot of the time we dont need it and the outside humidity seeps in.

Id suggest a cricket waterer of some kind if you try again with anything Ive recommended and it still doesnt pan out well.

Ken Bartenfeld
10-09-2007, 03:20 PM
Heh, i'm the dumb one who went to PetCo and got some orange all in one feeder for the crickets now...lol, and all I needed were potatoes!? I will try just keeping a non-vented top so all humidity is locked in. Thanks for posting the incubation times for the crickets bro, you don't know how much that helps me personally. I thought 10 days and when they didn't hatch out...threw them out. I have alot of mildew problems when they are to wet. Another thing to suggest might be taking ALL dead crickets out of the depositation substrate.

And yes, I have a AC unit in the window here in sunny FL just to keep in even colder! My humidity in the gecko room usually is 39-48%. Not like I want, but hey...I had a very lucky year with my geckos producing and I thank god or whoever ;-)

Thanks again, Tom...you contribute alot. Talk to you soon...btw, lost your number...

01-24-2008, 08:36 PM
Very interesting...

I hadn't even considered Firebrats. Given my present location, excess humidity shouldn't be an issue (since generally my problem is keeping everything humid enough, and not the other way around.)

I'll have to find a source for them and try to get a starter culture going, just to see how well they fare as feeders for my stenodactylus.

11-09-2008, 04:27 PM
A good read is "Live Food" of the Professional Breeders Series


Has detailed info on culturing of:

-true flies
-True bugs, such as bean aphids
-crickets and katydids
-and literally every other feeder animals in the hobby today, and as this is a european book which has been translated, there are animals in here which have never been a staple in the states, such as annam stick insects.

Also covers the manner in which to fabricate a "culture chamber" which is basically a giant incubator/small room with shelves lined with heat tape on which to place your bins, and maintain contant temp values within this area.

Available through Zoo Book Sales, zoobooksales.com

12-07-2008, 12:37 PM
Has anybody found a good source for obtaining firebrats? I'd love to start culturing these.


12-16-2008, 08:59 PM
I have seen firebrats for sale. I just can not remember where I seen them at. Keep looking they are out there though. Might check out dartfrog peoples websites.

08-27-2009, 09:26 AM
good guide, but you forget to talk about buffalo worms, very usuful and small worms (smaller than mealworms) that I found fantastic working on baby p. picta and I'm waiting for the hatchlings of d. vittatus to try them even on those micro babies :( Hopes they'll eat them like their famelic parents!!!

08-27-2010, 11:34 AM
FWIW, I've found (by accident) a VERY productive culture method for springtails: Clay pots full of lava rock chips, standing in very shallow water (to keep the lava rock moist). Keep in a covered container to maintain humidity, and (very important) provide bright light to allow an algal mat to grow on the surface of the rocks. Inoculate with springtails and you will have a bumper crop. I was culturing some Cryptocoryne and various Java fern clones emersed, and found that I had a HUGE supply of springtails in the following weeks.

02-26-2011, 02:52 PM
A fascinating read. Plain, straight-forward instructions. Much appreciated. Thanks very much.:)